Human blood eosinophils exposed ex vivo to hematopoietic cytokines (e.g., IL-5 or GM-CSF) subsequently display enhanced responsiveness to numerous chemoattractants, such as chemokines, platelet-activating factor, or FMLP, through a process known as priming. Airway eosinophils, obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage after segmental Ag challenge, also exhibit enhanced responsiveness to selected chemoattractants, suggesting that they are primed during cell trafficking from the blood to the airway. Earlier work has shown that chemoattractants stimulate greater activation of ERK1 and ERK2 following IL-5 priming in vitro, thus revealing that ERK1/ERK2 activity can be a molecular readout of priming under these circumstances. Because few studies have examined the intracellular mechanisms regulating priming as it relates to human airway eosinophils, we evaluated the responsiveness of blood and airway eosinophils to chemoattractants (FMLP, platelet-activating factor, CCL11, CCL5, CXCL8) with respect to degranulation, adherence to fibronectin, or Ras-ERK signaling cascade activation. When compared with blood eosinophils, airway eosinophils exhibited greater FMLP-stimulated eosinophil-derived neurotoxin release as well as augmented FMLP- and CCL11-stimulated adherence to fibronectin. In airway eosinophils, FMLP, CCL11, and CCL5 stimulated greater activation of Ras or ERK1/ERK2 when compared with baseline. Ras activation by FMLP in blood eosinophils was also enhanced following IL-5 priming. These studies are consistent with a model of in vivo priming of eosinophils by IL-5 or related cytokines following allergen challenge, and further demonstrate the key role of priming in the chemoattractant-stimulated responses of eosinophils. These data also demonstrate the importance of the Ras-ERK signaling pathway in the regulation of eosinophil responses to chemoattractants in the airway. Human airway eosinophils respond to several chemoattractants with increased activation of the Ras-ERK cascade, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin release, and adherence to fibronectin relative to blood eosinophils.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy